Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Aug 2013: Watching a volcano blow at night

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so the penultimate trip was to go see Stromboli, it was a lovely morning when we reached the port



So we were at Cefalu, which is at the bottom left hand side corner. And we went up to Vulcano island, passing between Lipari and Salina, and then having a break at Panarea and then circling Stomboli and back.

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and climbed on this lovely boat

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with ropes

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and bumpers, the waters are crystal clear

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and we are off

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and the wake behind us stretching for long meters

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Bye Sicily

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Under the command of Captain Diya

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The entire area is dotted by islands, its the Aolian Islands chain.

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That’s a giant landslip

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you can see the power of the earth movements…

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And now we are passing Vulcano. This is the name the Romans gave to this island, thinking that this was the chimney of the Vulcan God’s forge. And it grew as he cleared his forge of cinders and ash. You can see the fumaroles belching steam and smoke from the slopes. The last eruption was in 1890 but is still considered to be active. Can you imagine? the northward moving African plate is meeting the Eurasian Plate deep below our feet and that crunch is happening along these lines…the sheer implacable power is showing up.

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wooo hooo

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now there is a nice view.

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some outcrops..

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A lovely church and sea walls and fortress on the Island of Lipari.

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Heading towards Panarea

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the water was just brilliant blue.

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wow, there’s a lovely yacht.

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now that will be a nice ski slope

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so would this be.

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the crewman is getting ready to dock

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there’s the Panarea Jetty.

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sitting on the dock all day..

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totally brilliant water

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the rubbish boat

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and another explosion on top of Stromboli

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the flora over here is lovely..beautiful fruit ranting from olives and flowers galore.

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the houses are all whitewashed with lovely little tile address plaques. Very cute.

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and this lovely statue just emerged out of nowhere..beautiful work.

And then we come to the church.

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the mosaic in the front is absolutely exquisite.

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fairly austere church.

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Its a simple church. Not surprising as its been constructed on an island and not much expertise or raw materials in here. So everything had to be carted over…given those constraints, its a lovely place.

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Arrrgggg…my eyes…

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A tiny map on the side…the Isle of Panarea.

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popped into a little shop…the kids are already tired…

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another explosion on top of Stromboli belching smoke

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having pizza for lunch

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and here’s our ride again.

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passing the rock

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everybody is looking forward to Stromboli

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while I am looking back at Panarea

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passing more layered and striated rocks

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and now aiming at Stromboli

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you can see how the sides of the mountain have been pockmarked by landslides

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there she goes again.

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a plug

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pulling into Stromboli harbour

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a catamaran

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here’s the map

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be careful of tsunami…

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I couldn't trek up to the summit, not with the family here :(

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we pop into another church.   Some of the marble inlay pietra dura work is very nice…

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wow, that’s a bit gruesome in front of the altar..

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beautiful stained glass work

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sighs. some of the trekkers getting ready to hike up to the summit..dammit.

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there she blows again

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more flora…

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to be careful of the tsunami and of sharks?

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we go back to the boat

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and now you can see her smoking

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final view of the little village

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getting all sunsety

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another puff of smoke.

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a lighthouse on a little plug. Notice the little sea-horse shaped outcrop? funny, eh?

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we turn around and go back to the north side of the island.

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the moon is out

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and you can see loads of boats moored around here. all waiting to catch sight of the eruptions.

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waiting patiently, this side of the island is covered with the lava pyroclastic flows.

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She was blowing every 5-8 minutes intermittently. But it was so problematic to take any good photos. I was about 4 miles away, on a rolling and pitching boat, with a standard walk about 20-250mm lens on my DSLR. Well, here you go, that’s what I caught. Spectacular sights. I am so definitely going to go up there again,

couldn't take a video either properly…the wind was blowing quite hard

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And now we start back to Cefalu…with the moon lighting up the route…lovely…but I leave Stromboli with regret..

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